Apr 19, 2022 - News

A look inside Maryland's iconic Mormon temple

The outside of the temple.
Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

👋🏾 Hi, Paige here.

If you've driven the northern end of the Beltway even just once, you've probably wondered what it's like inside the soaring, golden-spired Mormon temple. After years of wondering, I finally got to step inside, and soon you can too.

Why it matters: For the first time in almost half a century, people outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are allowed to enter the sacred space.

  • Even Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wanted a look inside. He joined other guests and church leaders for a media tour on Monday. 

Zoom out: When any temple is renovated, it's opened to the public for tours before being re-dedicated. The temple, located in Kensington, Maryland, spent the past four years getting a makeover and is the church's third-largest and the tallest in the world.

A baptism room.
The baptistry, used for ancestral baptisms. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

My thought bubble: I was surprised that the temple didn't center around one large meeting area like other houses of worship. Instead, it has many rooms that are used for different ceremonies such as marriage and baptism. 

  • The stained glass (each individual piece was taken out and cleaned during the renovation) is dark at the bottom of the building and gradually gets lighter the higher you go, to represent the process of learning, growing, and becoming more like Christ. 

How to see it: Tours are open from April 28 through June 11, except Sundays. 

A concert will be held on June 11 and 12 to celebrate the re-dedication. Non-church members are invited to attend these events as well (ticket info coming soon). 

Check out more interior temple pics:

The Celestial room inside the temple.
The Celestial room, a sacred space that symbolizes the ultimate progression one can achieve toward heaven. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
A sealing room where couples get married in the temple.
The sealing room where couples get married inside the temple. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
An instruction room inside the temple.
An instruction room where church members learn about God. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The brides room inside the temple, with cherry blossom carpet.
The brides' room features cherry blossom carpeting. Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The bridge walkway into the temple.
The bridge walkway into the temple. The church says crossing it symbolizes the "departure from the cares of the world toward celestial tranquility." Photo courtesy of Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more